On the fourth day, as you repeat the procedures of the first three days, you’ll discover that there’s no more opposition and games, unless your dog happens to become momentarily distracted and forgetful.
This is exactly what you want to happen, so that it will learn to overcome momentary temptation and distraction and keep focused on you. Obedience is needed particularly in time of emergency and since you are going to build obedience and character into your dog, you must have your dog’s attention totally focused on you.
Your job from day four until your pet learns to ignore temptation, is to use distraction and temptation during your fifteen-minute training sessions. The procedures will be nearly the same as the first three days, except that you will walk in the direction of the distraction or temptation and hope that your dog will rush recklessly toward it.
You will of course have chosen that precise moment to turn and walk fast in the opposite direction. As you would expect, it will be a short (fifteen to twenty feet) before it turns around and walks toward you. Your dog will not hate you for having to turn around, because it won’t associate the abrupt change of direction with you at all.
What Your Dog Will Know For Sure
The last four days have shown your dog that you will move whenever you choose and in any direction. What happened was its own fault because it took its attention and eyes off you for a moment and gave in to temptation. It was just “coincidental” that you decided to move, at that same moment and in the direction opposite to that in which it was heading.
You know that the move wasn’t really a coincidence, but your dog doesn’t know this and will never know. What your dog will come to realize is that when a distraction or temptation appears, that is the exact moment you will choose to change your direction of travel.
If you do your work well for the next few days, your dog will come to consider every temptation or distraction as a reminder and a cue to keep its eyes and attention on you. Distractions and temptations include people and things such as a skateboarder, a strange cat, another dog, a rolling ball, or a plate of food.
The list can go on and on, depending on your dog’s personality. However, to have someone call your dog by name in an attempt to distract it, must be considered unfair. You must stick to other situations and things.
To conclude this part of training, remember to always walk briskly in a straight line, with confidence in your movement. If you hesitate or walk slow, your dog will not develop the necessary confidence. Never give your dog verbal commands when working with it on the long-line. You’re not teaching your dog to heel yet.
For now, you’re teaching it four things. First, when tied to a person, it must move with that person. Second, your determination is such that you will walk anywhere and at any time. Third, in order for your dog to be aware of your movement and in which direction you’ll be walking, it needs to pay attention to you, because you won’t let it know in advance. Fourth, when distraction or temptation appears, they are not excuses to be inattentive. On the contrary, that is when your dog must be the most attentive and focused on you.